Spring came. The Pilgrims met Samoset who learned how to speak English from fishermen. Then they met the famous Indian, Squanto. He was a true God-send--God had an amazing plan for him. The journal entry reads: He was "a special instrument sent of God for our good". Prior to this, Squanto was a sold as a slave and taken to Europe for 10 years. A Spanish monk told him about Jesus. During the time he was in Europe, a plague wiped out his tribe in America. God had saved him from the plague. Other Indians were superstitious of the cleared land, which was a welcomed gift to the Pilgrims.
Upon returning to America, Squanto was not only a translator, but also provided invaluable practical knowledge. He taught the Pilgrims how to use fish "cleanings" for fertilizer, how to grow pumpkins, make maple syrup, trap beavers and stalk deer. He taught them what herbs to use for medicine. Squanto lived with the Pilgrims until his death. The Pilgrims remembered the words of Psalm 105:1-2, 5: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Remember His wonders which He has done, uttered by His mouth."
Another Indian, Chief Massasoit, was treated with respect and the love of Christ by the Pilgrims. He was very sick and the Lord healed him through a Pilgrim's medicine. This resulted in a peace treaty which lasted 50 years.
In October 1621, the First Thanksgiving was declared by Pilgrim Governor Bradford. 90 Indians came, bringing deer and turkeys. Other menu items were: venison, goose, lobster, eel, oysters, clam chowder, parsnips, turnips, cucumbers, onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, radishes, dried fruits, pies made from rehydrated fruits, ground corn made into hoecakes (thin slices of bread baked on a fire on the end of a hoe). The Indians brought a special treat--POPCORN--and added maple syrrup to make popcorn balls. The event lasted 3 days. There were games, shooting with bows/arrows and guns and all the boys raced and played.
Before the feasting began, they prayed! Even though half died that first year, the people were grateful--being grateful is a choice. It's not a feeling dependent on our circumstances, as we clearly see in the Pilgrims' lives. They believed that God was in control. They responded to the circumstances of their lives with a perspective that said, "God has allowed this for our good".
In November 1621, more colonists arrived, so the rations were cut in half. This was known as the "starving time". It is said that each person was only allowed 5 kernels of corn per day. They had a choice--they could either give in to bitterness and despair or they could trust Jesus. They chose Jesus---no one starved!---to be concluded!